Techniques > Briefs
> Roofing for Historic
Architectural Character ( roof section)
Types for roof:
impermeable membrane (flat, slightly pitched)
inspection using boom truck
Architectural Conservation Audit Case
Significance of the Roof
A weathertight roof is basic in the preservation of a structure,
regardless of its age, size, or design. In the system that allows
a building to work as a shelter, the roof sheds the rain, shades
from the sun, and buffers the weather.
During some periods in the history of architecture, the roof imparts
much of the architectural character. It defines the style and contributes
to the building's aesthetics. The hipped roofs of Georgian
architecture, the turrets of Queen Anne, the Mansard
roofs, and the graceful slopes of the Shingle Style and Bungalow
designs are examples of the use of roofing as a major design feature.
But no matter how decorative the patterning or how compelling the
form, the roof is a highly vulnerable element of a shelter that
will inevitable fail. A poor roof will permit the accelerated deterioration
of historic building materials masonry, wood, plaster, paint
and will cause general disintegration of the basic structure.
Furthermore, there is an urgency involved in repairing a leaky roof
since such repair costs will quickly become prohibitive. Although
such action is desirable as soon as a failure is discovered, temporary
patching methods should be carefully chosen to prevent inadvertent
damage to sound or historic roofing materials and related features.
Before any repair work is performed, the historic value of the materials
used on the roof should be understood. Then a complete internal
and external inspection of the roof should be planned to determine
all the causes of failure and to identify the alternatives for repair
or replacement of the roofing.